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How to do Japanese Maple Seed Stratification, How to Grow Easy, & Raised Bed Reveal!

We are going to discuss the ease of planting with some examples, how to prepare Japanese Maple seeds for cold stratification, how to plant and grow Papaya seed, & of course reveal what we planted in our closet organizer ‘raised bed.’

When you become neck deep in seeds, it can become a bit daunting to keep up pace with all the stages of growth.  We’ve been doing our best to update daily, but sometimes a tsunami of tasks come in and we’re left with no time in the day.  However, this does mean we’ve accomplished a lot which will allow us to provide a continuous stream of relevant first hand experience to share.  Far too much of the information you find online or elsewhere is regurgitated nonsense that people just source and water down.

We’re here to combat that!

One of the prime intentions behind building these projects is to dispel a lot of what is found on the internet and also to contest claims to provide proof between what is truthful and what is assumed or made up.  One of the biggest claims is that gardening is a science that should be left to hippies and grandmas.

So wrong :)  Anyone and everyone should be growing food producing plants.  All you need to grow:

Soil. Water. Sun. Heat.

There are exact sciences, and some seeds (like the Japanese maple for example) come with natural stipulations to for success.  However, most plants will simply grow on their own if you sow, observe and build an intuitive relationship with their growth progress.  If you fail, you will eventually refine.  If you succeed, you’re on your way!

We are going to have a multi-part series on how to grow food from store bought items starting this next week!

At Sprout’s market alone there is over 40 items that can be purchased ‘as is’ and produce plants at home.  One of these items we first planted nearly 3 weeks ago was sprouted sugar snap peas.  We decided to just take a few and plant them, since they were already on their way & we’re entering the winter grow season here in Sacramento.

Raised Bed, How To Grow Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar Snap Peas we planted in our ‘raised bed’

Take the sprouted Sugar Snap Pea, place it in about 3 oz of soil (doesn’t matter what type, but if you’re striving for ideals use a coconut/sand/casting mix.)  Water the Sugar Snap Pea lightly when the soil gets less than damp.  That’s it.  transplant the Sugar Pea when it gets large enough (about 4-8″) to withstand cold temperatures outside and bugs (slugs love these at night.)

 

Now onto a seed that requires a little bit consideration and preparation.  Japanese Maple seeds need to be fresh, then cold stratified for a period of a few months to germinate.  The reason for this is typically in nature the Japanese Maple tree will drop its seed in the fall.  These seeds are viable, because they are wet.  They would then embed themselves in leaf cover and other ground cover that would insulate their moisture.

Japanese Maple Seed Germination, Japanese Maple Seed Sprouting, Japanese Maple Seed Cold Stratification

Soaking the Japanese Maple seed to hydrate from shipping/storage

Seeds  and plants use conditions like light spectrum and temperature to tell what time of year it is.  The reason these seeds need about 3 months of cold stratification is because they naturally would sit in the cold nearly frozen soil for this long over winter.  They have evolved to begin gently germinating during this time safely and then ramp up root production when the soils warm.  Many seeds such as Blackberry, Persimmon, Poppy, and tons more behave like this.

Japanese Maple Seed Germination, Japanese Maple Seed Sprouting, Japanese Maple Seed Cold Stratification

Japanese Maple seed prepared for ‘winter’

These Japanese Maple seeds have been prepared for the refrigerator to emulate the natural process.  If you want to grow seeds that require cold stratification, you need to place them either in your refrigerator or in the ground over winter.

First you will want to soak the  Japanese Maple seeds in some warm (not boiling) water for 24 hours to help fully plump and hydrate the Japanese Maple seeds.  Many Japanese Maple seeds will sink and this is what you are looking for.  Some will continue to float after 24 hours & we still plant these since the only way to test viability is observed patience (ha ha.)

You will want to prepare some sort of soil-less blend for after you have soaked your Japanese Maple seed.  We chose to use some sand, coconut coir and small amount of worm castings.  Fill either a small baggie or container (with a few small holes) with this mix and place your seeds on top of it.  You can lightly bury them if you like, but for observation sake we chose to just place them on top.  When you lightly water these, they will slightly integrate into the soil.  Spritz over the Japanese Maple seeds just till damp.  You’ll want to pour it out or wick it up with a towel if any excess water pools up during a tilt inside your container or bag. Seal your bag or container with your prepared Japanese Maple seeds and place in your refrigerator.  You will want to check on them every week to test moisture level and after perhaps 6 weeks at the earliest to witness any germination.  We have not gone through this process with Japanese Maple seeds yet, so what we know is purely research based at this moment.

Japanese Maple Seed Germination, Japanese Maple Seed Sprouting, Japanese Maple Seed Cold Stratification

All 8 varieties of Japanese Maple seed prepared for cold

We used this small containers for our Japanese Maple seeds.  We use them for many other things as well.  They are 10 for $1 at Dollar Tree and are very affordable at 10 cents each.  We store seed in them, recycled staples, solutions and other small applications.  We typically like to not buy plastic, but these are an ideal size for bulk use.  We know we will re-use them indefinitely.

We’ve read that Japanese Maple seeds do not grow true from seed.  This means that they are genetically different than their parent and may not or are likely to not exhibit qualities of their mother plant.  Most if not all Japanese Maple variations you’ll find available are grafted clones.  We’ve read a lot of arguments online about a lot of these different claims, so this is why we have decided to find out for ourselves.  Like mentioned before, far too many people make definitive claims after perhaps simply passively reading partial fact somewhere… and then 10 others follow them.

We’ll get to the bottom of it all! :)

Later on when we start seeing results from these seeds we will list in a post the 8 varieties that are being grown.

We are off today to go check on a Pineapple Guava grove we found a month or so ago.  We will post an update tomorrow or perhaps tonight on this.  As well you can find information tomorrow on how to grow Papaya, an update on the Cashew seeds, and the Lemon Verbena plant!  Thanks for reading and leave us comments, questions or feedback below or email thefruitnation@gmail.com.

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